Frequently Asked Questions
Who can participate in Friendship Home Programs?
Anyone with developmental disabilities who we are able to serve safely may participate in our programs. People with a variety of abilities participate in our Bridges to Work program, with the goal of being as involved in community employment as possible. Friendship Club and Travel Club provide opportunities for social and recreational experiences while building and nurturing friendships, therefore anyone who wants to participate may, providing they do not present a risk to themselves or others. People with behavior challenges may participate as long as we can reasonably assure safety for all participants. The support of family members, counselors and the Department of Developmental Services is essential.
Are there fees for Friendship Home Programs?
Both Friendship Club and Travel Club have fees for participation to offset costs we are not able to cover through other funding sources. The majority of participants pay privately for these opportunities, but some participants have funding through the Department of Developmental Services. People register for travel excursions quarterly based on those activities that interest them. There is a cost to participate ($40 in 2011) and in addition there may be a cost for event tickets or meals, although Friendship Home often receives donations of tickets for these events. Friendship Club charges quarterly dues for all activities ($120 per quarter in 2011). Bridges to Work is paid for based on hourly participation and most participants are funded through the Department of Developmental Services, although families may pay privately at the same rate as DDS if they would like to enhance an existing array of services or their family member is not eligible for DDS funding.
Are there scholarships available?
Friendship Home strives to assure that anyone who wants to participate in our programs has the opportunity. Therefore those that have difficulty affording a program may apply for a scholarship. We hope to continue to build our scholarship fund so that families may utilize overnight respite opportunities that they have waited for!
What is respite care?
Respite care is temporary care of a person with disabilities, usually ranging from 1 day to 2 weeks. It is respite for the individuals’ family and may provide opportunities for the person to experience independence and activities that are suited to his/her interests.
Why is respite care needed?
Many families provide care for their loved ones with special needs 24 hours/day 7 days/week without relief. As much as they love their family member, the demands can be exhausting and they often have no time to take care of themselves and attend to other responsibilities. Respite care provides for these opportunities and programs such as Friendship Home help families to feel comfortable knowing that their loved ones are safe, nurtured and having fun!
Why has Friendship Home opened the lower activity level before opening the second floor respite units?
Friendship Home opened our lower level Club and activity level in order to create a solid financial and programmatic foundation for the programs prior to opening the units that will provide 24-hour care. This has allowed us to build a strong staff team and a foundation to provide respite care. It has also allowed program participants and families to become familiar with our staff and the positive environment in our programs in order to trust and feel comfortable with staying for longer periods of time. Friendship Home built our Travel Club and Bridges to Work Programs in direct response to requests from the individuals that we serve and their families to offer creative opportunities to work and play in the community. We will begin respite with the same philosophy, with customized services based on the wishes and needs of each individual/family.
When will the respite units open?
We anticipate offering our first overnights in December of 2011 or January 2012.
Is Friendship Home a program of UCC Norwell?
UCC Norwell has been a very generous partner, having donated the land that Friendship Home is built on. But Friendship Home is our own 501(c)(3) organization separate from the church. We work together as good neighbors and sometimes do events together. UCC provides many volunteers for Friendship Home and has for years helped us by providing space for our events. We are so grateful for their friendship and partnership!